If you had to choose between your passion and your marriage, which would you choose?

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Just a hypothetical question....

If you had an interest that you were really passionate about and wanted to follow that dream, but your husband/wife was against you doing that, what would you do?

Does your spouse really have the right to stop you from following your dreams?

Should you give up your passion, your dreams, to keep your marriage happy? Or should you follow your dreams and let your spouse decide whether they can handle it or leave?

What would you do?
  • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
    I don't think I could ever ignore my dreams and my spouse has never asked me to. In fact, the support of your spouse is paramount to a happy relationship. You just can't be happy stepping on each other's dreams.

    Hypothetically speaking though, if he was against me following a dream, my course of action would depend on why he was against it. If he was afraid for my safety or our financial security then his protest would be justified. I would work to show him that those fears are unfounded. Either I would win him over or realize the risk was too great.

    If his protest was out of insecurity or spite, oh well. I'd still try to ease his mind but it wouldn't stop me.
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      One of the reasons my last wife was with me was because I followed my passions (that and the fact I'm incredibly handsome:rolleyes.
      My passions are a large part of who I am, so there is really no choosing between them and marriage. If I was to get married again or even be in a relationship the other person would have to understand and except that, just as I would have to do with them.
      Mick Fleetwood said it best at the end of the Corrs concert he sat in on, "They played with passion".
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  • Profile picture of the author nouvellevie
    Passion & dream don`t always lead somewhere. Be careful at the end you could end up with a futile passion, dead dream & no wife. Maybe she knows you too well. Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Sheryl,

    As long as you werent doing it in a thong on top of a table on a pole....I would be fine. Follow your dream girl!


    Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

    One of the reasons my last wife was with me was because I followed my passions (that and the fact I'm incredibly handsome:rolleyes.
    Translastion: "Because I have a Harley that I look cool on, and I play music!"

    Nothin like a Harley and classic rock to make a certain demographic of women go wild!

    Its all marketing...its a chemical reaction like Chocolate =Love. lol
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    • Profile picture of the author Dave Patterson
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Sheryl,

      As long as you werent doing it in a thing on top of a table on a pole....I would be fine.
      [/I]
      Great...NOW what am I supposed to do with this stack of dollar bills...?
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Sheryl,

      As long as you werent doing it in a thong on top of a table on a pole....I would be fine. Follow your dream girl!




      Translastion: "Because I have a Harley that I look cool on, and I play music!"

      Nothin like a Harley and classic rock to make a certain demographic of women go wild!

      Its all marketing...its a chemical reaction like Chocolate =Love. lol
      Never owned a Harley John, and I never will
      In fact the one thing I wasn't allowed to do when I was married was own a motorcycle. It's somewhat of a long story, but at that time riding wasn't a priority like it is now.
      But I did have my drums then and played every day
      Speaking of which I think it's time to get another kit. A band I know of (locally) is losing it's drummer in a couple of months and he recommended me to be his replacement.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Should you give up your passion, your dreams, to keep your marriage happy? Or should you follow your dreams and let your spouse decide whether they can handle it or leave?
      Only you know if your dreams are worth giving a "handle it or leave" ultimatum. That may not end up the way you expecte so make sure you can live with the consequences.

      Consider his objections. Does he have a point or is he exerting control? Could your dreams damage him in any way or cause financial hardship in the marriage? Did he know you had these dreams - or is it something new that he sees as a threat? WHY is he resisting?

      A marriage that survives because one spouse is giving up or the other is giving in - won't be happy in the end. Compromise if you can - if you can't you'll have to make a choice.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Consider his objections. Does he have a point or is he exerting control? Could your dreams damage him in any way or cause financial hardship in the marriage? Did he know you had these dreams - or is it something new that he sees as a threat? WHY is he resisting?
        I believe it is more a control thing. My passions wouldn't damage him, he is just being stubborn. It's not something he wants, but it's really not something that is a huge deal, he just doesn't want it. Sometimes I think he just gets jealous of anything that I like or takes up any of my time. He gets jealous if I'm on the computer, he gets jealous if I pat the dog, he gets jealous if I spend time with my friend.

        So it's more a control, stubborn thing, which is why it's so frustrating for me. It's not something I'm rushing into, it's something I've put off for a year already hoping that he'd come around to it. It's something I've tried to let go off and forget about but just can't seem to do that. He has his own passions, our passions are very different, sometimes I wonder if we have anything in common.

        But I certainly don't prevent him, and never would prevent him from following his passions.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Sheryl, on a serious note...

    When I was younger an older man gave me advice...

    I was in between two relationships...and this one person was telling me that the other only liked me because I played music, but that she loved me even for my "self".

    The older man told me "So, wait, one loves you for who you are, and the other loves you IN SPITE of who you are? This is an easy choice".

    If your mate "knows" who you are, and they love you....then they wuill want you to express your passions...(as long as they arent for other men. lol) but these things are complicated there is no blanket answer. Just do your best to show love to everyone else as you express to them how you must follow your passion, and make them feel important in it. Make them even a part of helping you launch it and they will put their heart in it. "Where a mans treasure is there will his heart be also".

    @ Dave, whatchu doin for lunch man...I have some ideas for those bills...!
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  • Profile picture of the author jfambrini
    Don't make it a test of wills as that would result either in an unapalatable compromise or unpleasant stalemate. Put it on the back burner for a few weeks or months then broach the subject when you are on a vacation but from a different viewpoint. Meanwhile show interest in and share in their passions. If you invest in their pursuits and emotions perhaps a natural reciprocation will result. Even it that does not transpire you have a basis to open a new discussion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Easy. I would never marry someone that wasn't my passion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    It first of all would depend on how good the marriage is - then it would be easier to see which one is the bigger passion.

    I see lots about doing what you want and having your partner live with it.

    (and of course the other side where one person makes all the sacrifices while the other does what they want regardless of whether we like it or not).

    To me my first priority (after my relationship with God) would be that he is happy with me and I wouldn't mind doing without whatever else it is - because he would be more important to me.

    ... I do agree with Kay however on this point

    "A marriage that survives because one spouse is giving up or the other is giving in - won't be happy in the end. Compromise if you can - if you can't you'll have to make a choice"

    So it can't be like that (the attitude) - it has to be because you love the other person and want to please them MORE than anything else.

    With that said, if he feels the same, he will end up letting you do whatever it is - so it is a win/win.

    Being manipulative (withholding, threatening, etc) strategies should never be employed. "Love is the best weapon".
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    • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
      Originally Posted by Patrician View Post

      So it can't be like that (the attitude) - it has to be because you love the other person and want to please them MORE than anything else.

      With that said, if he feels the same, he will end up letting you do whatever it is - so it is a win/win.
      That's the problem, it isn't like that with him. He isn't willing to let me do this because he'd do anything to make me happy.
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      • Profile picture of the author Patrician
        Originally Posted by Sheryl Polomka View Post

        That's the problem, it isn't like that with him. He isn't willing to let me do this because he'd do anything to make me happy.
        I'm sorry to hear that Sheryl. You do see marriages where love is the paramount emotion - above all else - but I admit it is mostly 'in the movies' (and in my imagination).

        Pray for your husband -- because the controlling and jealousy do sound like he has self-esteem problems maybe he could use spiritual help with - and then maybe you would get what you want.

        'Give it to God' and let Him work it out for you - you never know... I'm not sure if you are a person of faith but it is really liberating to be able to get out of a frustrating situation where you just don't get an answer and you just can't move on to just 'get out from under it' (it takes practice).

        I am learning 'abandonment to God' - to just let things go - don't worry about it and ask Him to take it from you. Even if there is still no answer it is a way to be free of the aggravation of it all -just 'shine it on' and believe one way or the other it will be okay. It's all about perception - in the meantime.

        He 'works in mysterious ways'. Heck you might end up closer to your man than ever - and/or even better, closer to God. I really hope that is the case!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    Ruling out extremes (such as the passion in question being black tar heroin), the last thing I'd want to do is be the reason my wife feels empty inside and that's the issue here, really. Robbing someone of their passion is akin to stealing their soul.

    My reasoning isn't entirely altruistic either. Certainly, I want my wife to be as happy and fulfilled as possible because I think she deserves at least that much, but I also don't want to spend my life with someone with a washed out, bitter soul.

    A maxim widely used in my house, not entirely tongue-in-cheek, is, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
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  • Just a hypothetical question....

    I was really hoping for hypothetical but it seems you are in this pickle. Sigh. I have been where you are now, it seems.

    If you had an interest that you were really passionate about and wanted to follow that dream, but your husband/wife was against you doing that, what would you do?

    I went ahead and did it, over his objections.

    Does your spouse really have the right to stop you from following your dreams?

    No. Never.

    But my first marriage was to a man who was extremely controlling, so I had experience with that. Because I allowed my first husband to have his way, I didn't have a job outside the home for five years.

    Should you give up your passion, your dreams, to keep your marriage happy? Or should you follow your dreams and let your spouse decide whether they can handle it or leave?

    I think you know the answer.

    It won't be easy.

    fLufF
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    My rule of thumb is this: My kids are the only ones who are not expendable if someone around me doesnt like me being the person I am, they truly dont have to to hang around.

    If you want to hang around me and be on the John Durham ride thats great... its just a journey like any other... but I cant afford to be humoring people on it or trying to live up to someone elses ideals. There are much more important things than babysitting other adults egos... Maybe I have grown calloused..
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  • Profile picture of the author J123
    It depends of the quality of your marriage and of the quality of your passion. Every single case may be different.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Sometimes I think he just gets jealous of anything that I like or takes up any of my time. He gets jealous if I'm on the computer, he gets jealous if I pat the dog, he gets jealous if I spend time with my friend.
      Explains a lot - been there/done that. Never did know if the cause was jealousy/control or his own insecurities. After a couple years - didn't care.

      I understand you want his support - but do you need permission to follow your dream?
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      • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        I understand you want his support - but do you need permission to follow your dream?
        Kay this is a good question. Perhaps it is my own insecurities that have put me in this place of considering his permission too much. Maybe I have allowed him to have that position of power over me by asking his permission for the things I want to do.

        I don't think I'll ever have his support in this and I know I will never have his permission.

        Maybe I need to go ahead and do it just to make a stand and let him know that I don't need his permission. I would never leave him over this issue, but whether he would leave me over it.......... I'm not sure!
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  • Profile picture of the author shan beach
    Wow! I have this SAME challenge now! I met my hubby as a small biz owner, and he is one as well. We were driven to each other becuase we were both on this self-employed path that we only could understand. Now....he wants me to QUIT my business and work his fulltime! WTH??

    I'm torn as well becuase his business is so boring and tedious that I dont have any interest. Pkus, the work is long and hard compared to my EASY residual base. The main point he has is that I am starting over due to trying to help his business grow and you know how that can be in our offline market. It's funny how things change AFTER marriage!

    But I count it all joy....it will work itself out. However, I always say you have to be true to yourself first!
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    It depends. Sometimes dreams are misguided. Sometimes dreamers are deluded. Other times, a person is shackled from their true calling and what they should be doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Well, this doesn't apply to me because my wife supports anything I do. But I'll
      play anyway.

      Let's say I was married to a real shrew. She found fault with everything I did.

      One day, I decide I'm going to follow my passion. She tells me it's either my
      passion or her.

      I gracefully take her hand, bend slightly at the hip, kiss it and her goodbye.

      But like I said, this doesn't apply to me.

      Thank God.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
    I'm lucky that I don't have to make that choice. Actually luck had a little to do with it and learning from a first marriage had a lot to do with it.

    The first go-round was with an incredibly jealous, borderline narcissist (okay, not borderline), butt head who had no self esteem. He did anything he could to quash my dreams. Until I got tired of it.

    It took me a decade to find someone who understands me. And believe in me. Encourage me and support me. And I do the same for him.

    Sometimes I think he just gets jealous of anything that I like or takes up any of my time. He gets jealous if I'm on the computer, he gets jealous if I pat the dog, he gets jealous if I spend time with my friend.
    Sorry to hear about this. It sounds like a case of insecurity.

    There's nothing wrong with a small amount of jealousy, in my opinion. But jealousy over so many things is a difficult obstacle to overcome.

    I wish you the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lewis Hillier
    I think if you had a good marriage you should never be put in that position were the ultimatum it to choose between your passion and your marriage.

    I'm in the position were my long term gf is doing just that - long story short I will be single soon enough!

    You only live once if you have a good marriage you should have the best of both worlds!
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    • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
      Originally Posted by lewy009 View Post

      You only live once if you have a good marriage you should have the best of both worlds!
      So true and you know, I think this is part of the problem. I have the mindset that you only live once and you should make your life as happy as possible. But.... I guess that's where a big part of the problem comes. I decided I wasn't happy and wanted more from life, I found a hobby that I love and is the first thing that I've ever done 'for me' and really enjoy. Surely it isn't a crime to have something in life that you enjoy!

      On the other hand, he is quite happy to cruise along in life as things were, even though he knows that we're not really happy, he is quite happy to live that 'not so happy but safe' life. But I don't think I can do that anymore, I just want to be happy and don't think that's too much to ask.

      He has his hobbies and I have never stopped him from doing anything that he's wanted to do, because I care about his happiness and would never prevent him from doing something that makes him happy, and I struggle with the fact that he doesn't think that way about me!
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  • Profile picture of the author minihillier
    dreams come 1st as it would make me successful then i could look after the loved ones
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I've been with men who seem to feel that they are supposed to be my 24/7 focus. I am single now.. I can't play that game for anyone. If I can't do what I want to do with at least a little support - I am gone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
      My 2 cents starts with this:

      "The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."
      Epictetus

      Good people should help you achieve and grow in life. If they are not, then is that where you are both best being served?

      They are holding onto and living in their fears by not wanting you to succeed and you are not helping them by allowing them to perpetuate it.

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  • Profile picture of the author underthegun
    My advice.. if it has any weight...

    Relationships are a two way street. Give and take. And a lot of people tend to forget that. I know I've been in several relationships where my other had forgotten it.

    That said... I would say that they need to assess their situation. If that hypothetical person honestly feels that they are the only ones giving and never have anything to take... then f'it. Follow your dream.

    But if they feel that the relationship has been fair then why would they do that to their partner?
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Are you really sure he wants to control you, or is he scared of loosing you / the one he loves and is trying to hang onto what he has to hard for that fear of loss not understanding your new found second lease on life.
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Wow Sheryl,

      I'm so sorry that you are going through this.

      I've been fortunate that I have always had a relationship where we discussed everything, and even though the other didn't support something fully, we agreed to support the other in it anyway, after discussing why we didn't think the other should do it, but giving support with apprehensions.

      We then could fully follow our passion and we knew that if it didn't work out, the other would be there for comfort, and support the other through that disappointment as well.

      Except once.

      When hubby tried to put his foot down on something I wanted to do once, I explained to him that I felt like he was trying to put me in a cage and keep me imprisoned in his insecurities and then I quoted this:

      "If you love something,
      set it free.
      If it comes back,
      It is yours.
      If it does not,
      It never was."

      Following that with, When we said our marriage vows, did you truly mean every word you said and believe that I meant them too?

      He said, Of course!

      I said, Wonderful, it's all settled then!

      He said, What? What the heck does that have to do with this?

      I simply said, Til death do we part.

      I followed my passion and still am.

      Terra



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    • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
      Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

      Are you really sure he wants to control you, or is he scared of loosing you / the one he loves and is trying to hang onto what he has to hard for that fear of loss not understanding your new found second lease on life.
      Possibly Pete, but if he's scared of losing me, don't you think he would consider giving me this one thing knowing it would make me happy. Wouldn't he try to make me happy?
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      • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
        Originally Posted by Sheryl Polomka View Post

        Possibly Pete, but if he's scared of losing me, don't you think he would consider giving me this one thing knowing it would make me happy. Wouldn't he try to make me happy?
        Men are just so thick sometimes and they really need it spelt out.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikelookin
    How well do you know your spouse?

    If there's a specific reason they don't want you to do this one thing, maybe they just know you better than you know yourself. OR... maybe they just need to understand what you're doing a little better. Is there a compromise? You only do it so many hours a week in exchange for _________?

    The issue becomes whether this is a stepping stone for the "list" of things they want to change. So- how well do you know your spouse? :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    such a personaly question....so many variales. Unanswerable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    A few two cents worth:

    1. I think you need to realize that your marriage is in big trouble. Anytime anyone asks a question like "should I leave my wife if she doesn't let me go hunting?" is showing that their marriage is already on the brink of divorce. You say you wouldn't leave him but don't know if he would leave you but apparently you are willing to risk it for this dream.

    2. You may look at his actions as unselfish but aren't yours too? You want YOUR happiness, YOUR friend, YOUR time on the computer, etc. I'm not saying that's wrong but I am saying to be fair if you really are trying to make such an important decision.

    3. He is probably not meeting your emotional and other needs and you probably aren't meeting his either. When people don't get their most important needs met by their spouse they start looking elsewhere - to another human being or a hobby or whatever. I mean you've kind of made up your mind, it sounds like, that your hobby is what you need to feel good about you - and you are willing to let the husband go perhaps if need be. That means he's not helping you feel good about you by helping to meet your needs. Are you helping him feel good about him? For example, maybe he's jealous and controlling because he is afraid of losing you because he isn't sure you really love him anymore or you aren't meeting his needs like you used to. And maybe he's jealous and controlling because that's just the way it is.

    4. New shiny object syndrome happens offline too. What if you decide the passion is what will really make you happy and do away with the husband and then you figure out the passion isn't all it's cracked up to be? Where are you then?

    5. It may not be that he disagrees so much as he does not understand your hobby. He may be afraid you are going to broke buying quilting materials (or whatever) and they are going to be strewn all over the living room and he's not going to be able to enjoy watching TV or having his friends over because of it. Or something similar. Of course I don't know - maybe he completely understands and is just plain against it.

    6. Figure out a way that he benefits perhaps. For example if he'll agree you'll take 35% of the profits from making the quilts and let him start saving for the boat he's been wanting.

    7. Find ways to help you build your confidence and find your happiness without doing the hobby. Is that a possibility? In other words he may be against the quilt making hobby but would totally support raising tropical fish and that may be something relaxing and enjoyable for you too.

    8. You only live once, true. Figure out what's most important and go do it. On your deathbed what decisions are you going to regret the most? Only you know the answer and you already know the answer today. Whatever those regrets are (try to imagine them) make sure you don't have them by changing direction or stopping/starting something.

    Good luck.

    Mark

    PS I'm not a mental health or marriage professional. These are just my wacky ideas.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Sheryl,

      I'm afraid I'm certainly in no position to offer you any advice. If I ever did on the subject of relationships, I'd politely recommend you ignore me.

      What I will say is that I'm ever so sorry to hear about this and I sincerely hope you find a solution that makes at the very least you happy and hopefully, everyone involved.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    @Mark Singletary

    Wow - you have hit the nail on the head with much of what you've said. Trust me, this isn't a hobby that I've just rushed into and got my knickers in a knot because he doesn't want me to do it. This is something that has been going on for a while. This passion is something that I have tried to let go of and forget about completely, for the sake of my marriage, but I just haven't been able to do it.

    I guess the issue is more than just this hobby, I guess it is more about the fact of needing to ask his permission for everything that I need to do. The fact that, by doing that, it makes me feel like he treats me like a child, like he is the father figure in the home and makes all the decisions. Is it really to much to ask to be treated like an equal.

    I'll give you another example that's not related to my passion but another example of him making the decisions. A few days ago I saw some kittens advertised. I have three children and my middle son has many issues. He is being assessed for Aspergers, but at this point we still don't know, after many years of visiting doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists etc. Anyway, back to the kitten. I thought that giving my son a kitten, something he could call his own and care for, that it could be really good for him. He thinks everyone hates him and has very low self esteem and I really think having his own kitten would be good therapy for him. But as soon as I mentioned it to my husband, it was a straight NO. No discussion, nothing I could say would have him even considering it a little, it's a NO and that's all there is to it, end of discussion.

    Sometimes I love the thought of not having someone to make those decisions and say no to everything I suggest. I would love to be able to go out and buy a kitten (or whatever) without anyone being against it and telling me no I can't.

    I guess that's the issue, I would like some independence, some freedom, to be able to act like an 'adult' and make decisions for myself.

    I know our marriage is in trouble, I have suggested marriage counseling many times, but he won't go. But.... I know I don't want to give up on it either and wish I wasn't in a situation where I feel like I need to choose between being 'me' and being a 'wife'.
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    • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
      Originally Posted by Sheryl Polomka View Post

      <snip>I know I don't want to give up on it either and wish I wasn't in a situation where I feel like I need to choose between being 'me' and being a 'wife'.
      Ideally, it wouldn't be mutually exclusive. I hope you find the best solution for your situation. Straying in another direction, does your son like horseback riding?
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    haha, he's never tried horseback riding. Maybe I'll buy him a horse
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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Originally Posted by Sheryl Polomka View Post

      haha, he's never tried horseback riding. Maybe I'll buy him a horse
      There you go, Sheryl!

      And if hubby gets mad, you can just say, "Well, you said I couldn't get him a kitten!"

      Terra
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    Originally Posted by Sheryl Polomka View Post

    haha, he's never tried horseback riding. Maybe I'll buy him a horse
    Check this out:
    How riding a horse taught a boy to speak - Health News - Health & Families - The Independent
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    That's amazing! I guess the reasoning behind it is what I was thinking with my son and a kitten. Letting him have that relationship with his own pet, I really think it could be good for him.
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